Falling Into Place – Amy Zhang


On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.


This book is… twisted. It covers some really heavy stuff. I’m not sure what I was expecting at the end, but somehow I left feeling disappointed. The entire book felt like it was building up to the crash. Then the crash happened, and people swore they’d fix up all their past mistakes, and everything turned out all right. Seemed a little too simple.

LIz Emerson did some reprehensible things, and she blamed it all on herself. At this time, pretty much all of her relationships are messed up. Does it really take something so tragic to get people to pay attention and be grateful for having each other? Julia swore that she’d get help if only Liz woke up. Doesn’t that imply that if Liz dies, she won’t get help (despite acknowledging that she needs it)?

My question is: does Liz really deserve a second chance? And who knows what she would even do with one. Sounds harsh, but what about all those other people that Liz tormented? Yeah, it could be argued that they ruined their own lives, not Liz. But they were on track for a certain future, and Liz was the catalyst to veer them off that course. And there were so many open-ended threads… like Kyle, dude. We never even met him.

The voice was really detached and scientific. I’d best describe it as “clinical.” The book tried to cover so, so many deep and emotional topics, but in an almost blasé way. This made it hard to get involved in the story. I felt a sense of helplessness and pity for these people, but I didn’t empathize with them. The story was interesting, and told with a very unique voice, but something about it was a little off for me.

Related Reading

  • If I Stay – Gayle Forman
  • We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
  • Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver
  • Where It Began – Ann Redisch Stampler

Rating: 4/5


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